Sarah Oates Associate Leader

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sarah studied violin with Louis van der Watt at the Hugo Lambrecht Music Centre in Cape Town. At the age of fourteen, was the winner of the South African National Huguenot competition and the National High School music competition.

In 1992 she was rewarded a scholarship to study with Yossi Zivoni at the Purcell School of Music in London, and later at the Royal Northern College of Music. Sarah continued her studies with Pinchas Zukerman at the Manhattan School of Music and later with Alexander Kerr in Amsterdam. Sarah made her debut at the Sante Fe chamber music festival in New Mexico, where she performed and toured with Pinchas Zukerman. In 2002 she was a prizewinner in the Vriendenkrans competition of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Sarah has performed violin concertos with various orchestras, including Holland Symfonia, the London Philharmonia Chamber Ensemble,  the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, RNCM Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic, and the Natal Philharmonic. From 2008 until 2013 Sarah was the concertmaster of the Holland Symfonia Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Since 2013 Sarah is the second concertmaster of the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, one of the world's leading orchestras. With principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen the orchestra tours regularly to the USA, Japan, China, South America and Europe. Sarah is in demand as a guest concertmaster and regularly appears as concertmaster with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and the Gelders Orchestra.

Sarah is an experienced chamber musician and performs regularly with friends and colleagues. In May 2015 she performed the opening concert of the prestigious new Philharmonia Chamber Music Series in the Royal Festival Hall, London.

As a member of the Devich Piano Trio she recorded four CD's with Challenge Records to critical acclaim.

Sarah plays a Gennaro Gagliano violin made in Naples, 1758.

The Philharmonia's Associate Leader's Chair is currently available for Endowment. To find out how you can support the work of the Philharmonia Orchestra through endowing a Chair, visit Chair Endowment.